Here in outer space we love repetition,
insinuation, and speaking
mechanisms like throats with glottal
stops, with vibrato, with baritone.
Outer space is stationed by soundlessness or,
closer, the precautionary hum
of a vacuum. Here in outer space when we speak
it’s as though we’ve dragged a log
five miles uphill between our teeth.
Words release wagging
and panting, the pull of poverty
in our tonsils. Here in the apex of drumbeat,
we find everyone’s a frequency
of infrared, irradiated
carpenter ants building and tearing down.
We are comforted by the repetition
of familiar. It’s us in the tinder-
box, blastoma to the eyeball.
Here in outer space we grow tumors
on our eardrums. No harm,
no foul. The black hole growths, like friends,
whisper sweet obscenities.
I can’t help but think we’re happy.
We don’t possess the ability
to curse our mothers. Here in space
we lift our legs on our enemies,
who will never be our enemies for long,
no sound keeping memory alive.
Here, we wonder if a pillow
is really just a pillow, or a thing on which
to die. We wish we were rechargeable.
The sleeper in our bed isn’t us
but a projection, a template to dream on.
I give away so many secrets!
I speak through the void, an ultraviolation,
which was never less than particle
and dimension, bodies shaped and shifted.
Racetrack. Sentence. Corrugate.
You think you understand something
about the universe. What a setback.
What a fatal flaw.
Delivered: the plum trees I’m
I’m leaning on, leaving
in my will, a birthday full of abandons,
singular lowercase i . The it
of dropping off, offshoot of:
of true events. If anyone’s aura might
tell truth, to tell it, to tell it
vibrate freely across soundwaves,
this is the forum. Delivered not at church
singing downriver but at recess,
in the recess of my tonsil
the boy with the blue blue eyes
and freckles, the boy we called Birdie,
whose sex I wanted and didn’t want
kissed my cheek once. Delivered:
a package from across the sea.
From a man there to my cheek once.
Delivered on cue: thunder once.
Into the veil that is the wailing
of this planet I screamed Scam! once.
But staking a precedent, nobody heard.
Say it and, by god, it’s so.
The absurdity of circular rhetoric
delivered a head on a platter
Stubborn, box turtle head split becomes
a pair of unwaxed legs. Takes so long
to wake up from dream, deprivation
of trumpet. With all creation
flooding Let it be, sang
the Liverpool boys, all shags and levers
but what they meant was
Let it be delivered. Let the package fall.
A NOTE OF THANKS, FROM US
To the everyday genius, thanks
for the potting soil. We’ve planted
a sapling in your honor, bored
with the singular
vision of a rare
intellect. Yours—yours is
special because we get it.
We grasp your lapses
into identity crisis, your desire
to do normalish things
like gardening and painting
flower pots, like killing
by accident. Blame mistakes
of horticulture on
a solar flare: we get it.
The tree we planted for you:
a lychee, whose fruit
is sex, membranous
and impossibly ovoid, whose
skin is spiked
and brittle. Thanks
in us a perennial metaphor.
In a storm, we’ll use it
as shelter. As always, we’ll
falter and crash, break
like window glass. Underskin
warm and translucent,
we’re casting a moonstone
sheen all over the grass.
ALEXIS ORGERA’s first full-length book of poems recently appeared, How Like Foreign Objects (H-ngm-n Bks). She has also published two chapbooks, Illuminatrix (Forklift Ink, 2009) and Dear Friends, The Birds Were Wonderful! (Blue Hour Press, 2009). Her poems have been published in various magazines and journals including Bat City Review, DIAGRAM, Folio, Forklift Ohio, Fou, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, H_ngm_n, jubilat, Luna, RealPoetik, storySouth, and The Tusculum Review. She graduated from Emerson College’s MFA program, where she was awarded Best Thesis for her collection, A Map of Earth. Most of those poems were gutted and filleted long ago.